I just had a great conversation with @Jason Falls from Social Media Explorer and had to write this post. We were just talking about how some smallish (1,500 to 2,000 readers a day) but high quality niche blogs kept trying to pitch him to get a world wide brand to advertise on their blogs.
Jason finally explained that while the blog may be high quality and a perfectly targeted niche, his client was not going to spend $5,000 to advertise on their site. His client spends $500,000 or more on media buys. It simply doesn’t work logistically for them to spend that small amount of money on a media buy. Jason advised them to start a network with other blogs in their niche, combine their demographics and then pitch the client.
While he was telling me this story (which is great advice for any niche market blog btw) he mentioned a video that Gary V posted a couple months back where Gary actually came up with a concept for a blog, did a search on Google for advertisers in that space and actually called the first advertiser on the list live on the video. What transpires next is an incredible real life example of what a sales person does and what you as an independent blogger need to do if you want to monetize your blog.
This is one of the best videos I have ever seen on how to monetize a blog in particular and good advice on how to sell in general.
I have loved Gary’s energy and enthusiasm ever since I first met him at the first BlogWorld in 2007 but as a salesmen I have a whole new respect for him.
You see creating great content is not enough. You need to be able to sell it. If you are a great writer and you have built a community around your site you can make money but you need to be able to sell like Gary just demonstrated if you ever have a hope of making a dime.
If you can’t sell then you better find someone who can sell your blog for you. The truth is most of us will never have hundreds of thousands of readers but you don’t need that big of an audience to monetize your content.
If you have 2,000 regular readers on your site and they are engaged with you and you aren’t making money, then you need to learn how to sell and who to sell to.
Gary just gave some great advice on how to do that but Jason mentioned something else that was very important. Think locally. Again a national brand is not going to write you a check for $5 or $10k but a local retailer or distributor will.
I compare blogs to traditional media; newspapers, magazines, television and radio all the time.
If your blog has more than 1,500 readers a day you need to think of your blog as a local radio station, or a local newspaper and sell it that way. If you can sell like Gary or can find someone who can sell like that, then there is no reason you can’t make a nice income from your blog.
You can check out Gary’s 2008 Keynote at BlogWorld here.